TL;DR – If you’ve been involuntarily unemployed or retired but have many more years to give at work, this could be your chance at rekindling your childhood aspiration.
“Youth is wasted on the young
Before you know it’s come and gone too soon”
– Lyrics from ‘Eternity’ by Robbie Williams
Isn’t this true? Time waits for no man, and with a blink of an eye, you’re in your fifties or sixties. You would have built yourself a great career with decades of hard work.
Yet some companies are reluctant to keep their mature workers because based on their years of experience, they are too expensive, and some are convinced that they are slow because of their age. This discrimination is called Ageism.
As a result, many were involuntarily unemployed or retired. Despite what your company or people think, you are still full of energy and wish to continue working.
Rediscover your calling – time to dream again
Yes, you deserve and should dream again! Perhaps you’ve been a great accountant for decades, but you’ve always been a good listener and find yourself counselling or giving comfort to others during their difficult times. Then perhaps, your next career could involve counselling others.
Embarking on a new trade may seem risky and intimidating but it could be the most rewarding thing you’ve done for yourself.
Learning new skills keeps your mind engaged and body active. In other words, it keeps you young!
While you are learning, your brain is trained to handle a wide range of challenges and keeps your neural pathways active. Learning is also exciting and rewarding, you will start to realize how useful you are to lots of people and this makes you happy and mentally healthy.
Rebuild your confidence
Learning a new skill can open new doors. Mentally preparing yourself before pursuing a new opportunity is key.
- Be prepared to start all over again
If you held a managerial position previously, it is important to tune yourself for the role you are applying for. Make sure that you are self-aware of your behaviour and being humble goes a long way.
- Don’t discredit the years of experience you had
Try to link them to the new role you are applying for. Are there some transferable skills worth mentioning to your potential employer?
- Research the company you are applying for
Don’t waste your efforts in sending out job applications aimlessly. Furthermore, over-applying and not hearing back from employers can leave you feeling discouraged.
Be smart about it! If ageism reduces your chance of getting employed, make sure the company you are hiring is progressive in this aspect. You can start by searching for online reviews from past employees.
Re-design your resume
Changing the layout of your resume could bring your future employer’s attention to the qualities that would justify your fit for the role you applied for.
For example, right at the top, highlight the skills you have that would complement the role. And have a short write-up (one to two sentences) about your personality and expertise.
Then add your qualification – training certifications and education history.
Then you may do a summary of the career you previously had and the responsibilities you shouldered. There is no need to deep dive into the details of your previous job scope. You could simply highlight the achievements or special projects you took on. These will show your future employer that you are reliable and proactive at work.
Last but not least, add a photo of yourself. Employers are always curious to put a face to a name. And if you look way younger than your age, it justifies that age is really just a number.
Best of luck in your future endeavours!